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 Australian politics: a get rich quick scheme!

01.07.20. Oh boy! Get into politics and get you hands into the taxpayers’ loot is more prevalent than first thought. Premier dopey Dan in Victoria will be copping it from all his crooked amigos for shining the light on systemic corruption. Political positions throughout Australia’s silly three-tier government systems affords ample opportunity for the lazy and useless to make hay while the sun shines. The only skill required is to keep the majority of the theft. Australia has about 127 Federal pollies. State and territories have about 135 and with 560 councils in local government and councils have from 5 to 15 Councillors. That makes a rough average of more than 5,800 potential thieving bastards. Are you in the wrong business?
The City of Perth has been poorly led, badly governed and was grossly dysfunctional, according to a damning closing assessment by the commissioner leading an inquiry into the troubled capital city council which could result in criminal charges being laid. Tony Power made 250 findings and 341 recommendations in an extensive report, including referring a number of suspected instances of criminal behaviour to police.

Source: ABC

City of Perth inquiry finds council ‘dysfunctional and poorly led’, criminal charges possible

“[The inquiry] makes no apologies for the bluntness of some of the observations and findings in its report. They are all justified,” he said.
“The community deserved better. It should have been service to the community before self-entitlement, not the other way around.”
Those matters involved 23 individuals and one organisation, including some council members and senior employees, none of whom remained at the city.
The commissioner did not name any of those individuals.
City plagued by ‘cankerous’ relationships
The mammoth inquiry was commissioned in April 2018 to restore confidence in the city’s ability to function properly and followed the suspension of the council the previous month.
That suspension came amid the background of an expenses scandal involving Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi and a high turnover of senior staff.
Mr Power found Ms Scaffidi had encouraged division and factionalism, describing the relationships between council members as “cankerous”.
He said he would have recommended the entire council be dismissed if they still held their positions.
The commissioner was also scathing of the failure by governance and administrative staff to adequately scrutinise misconduct.
Electoral interference, acceptance of gifts
Among examples of the misconduct by council members the inquiry observed were members interfering with local government election processes, thereby corrupting the democratic process.
Members of council were also found to have misused their titles and entitlements for personal benefit.
“The trappings and privileges of high office, in the form of dining, clothing and grooming allowances were exploited by some members of the Council,” he said.
“They did so for their own personal benefit, at the ratepayer’s expense and with little regard for the interests of community as a whole.”
There were also regular failures by councillors to disclose financial and other conflicts of interest.
This extended to the receipt of gifts and tickets to events from organisations which councillors then made decisions about.
Mr Power said some council members attempted to persuade the city to fund organisations and events which they had personal connections to.
He said some members of council did not understand their role and and failed to stick to what they should have been doing.
“Too often, councillors interfered in operational matters, where they had no business getting involved,” he said.
Witnesses ‘obstructive, reluctant’
The sheer scale of the inquiry was also summarised by the commissioner.
“It has been the largest, most complex and most significant inquiry of its kind into any local government in the history of this state,” Mr Power said.
The inquiry obtained and examined more than four million documents and held 125 days of private and public hearings, during which it heard from 104 witnesses who gave over 547 hours of evidence.
They included the former lord mayor, former councillors and employees.
The inquiry heard from 104 witnesses, some of whom were described as “obstructive”.
But Mr Power condemned the behaviour of some witnesses, describing the way they gave evidence as “reluctant” and at times “obstinate”.
“It was disappointing that so many chose to be obstructive, for reasons best known to them,” he said.
Mr Power said this contributed to delays in the 26-month long investigation, as did granting affected parties the right of reply before making findings.
He said the failures of governance had been compounded by a “woeful” failure to plan for the City’s future and adequately manage its finances.
This was something he said would likely have continued if not for the inquiry, he said.
City of Perth ‘sorry saga’ over now, minister says
Local Government Minister David Templeman said the report should serve as a “wake-up call” to councils across the state.
“It is important that local governments recognise the integral role they play in the daily lives of people across the state of Western Australia,” he said.
He said it brought an end to what had been a “sorry saga” at the City of Perth.
“But in moving forward we now look towards October the 17th this year when there will be new elections for a new Lord Mayor and councillors at the city,” he said.
Mr Templeman said he would take time to consider the report and its findings, before releasing it publicly.

{ 5 comments… add one }
  • wal1957 01/07/2020, 10:40 am

    And as with most enquiries, investigation or Royal Commissions nobody is likely to be prosecuted!

  • Peter Sandery 01/07/2020, 10:50 am

    Not a good start that any meaningful lessons will be learnt from this expensive but obviously necessary enquiry when the minister responsible is holding back on its release to those ratepayers who actually paid for it and the taxpayers who pay for him.

  • DT 01/07/2020, 12:20 pm

    Don’t forget the positions on tribunals, councils, and other non-government organisations.

    Administrators of red, green and black tape.

  • Ozman 01/07/2020, 12:48 pm

    There is something about learning to work with your hands and getting satisfaction for a job well done, rather than having nothing to do except think of ways to rip off the workers who pay for the government salaries of the Public Sector.

    On average, before job-keeper payments of $1500 were handed out by Morrison when gutting the economy, those in the Public Sector were receiving an extra $300 a week more than those working in the Private Sector, not to mention the generous holidays, sick leave and superannuation. Yet quite a number of these bludgers are still not satisfied.

    Public Sector Fremantle Port Authority manager, Jack Merolla probably thought much about the Kangaroo, for he has skipped the country, after ripping off $1 million from taxpayers.

    Trade Minister Simon Birmingham’s proposed Nation Brand Logo, the image of a wattle, looking like a virus in a petri dish, is more representative of the true state of affairs.

    Unfortunately, the Lucky Country of the Kangaroo is not so good for small businesses these days. Too many public servants hell-bent on destroying the place. Just have a look at Perth CBD. That place was dying before the lock down.

  • Ex ADF 01/07/2020, 1:25 pm

    Local government and university law schools. The perfect petri dish for replicating more and more politicians who have only self interest in mind. I do know we need politicians, but getting rid of party line thought control must be a priority.

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